Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A windfall in trash for Idaho Falls

The Idaho Falls City Council’s decision to increase the maximum littering fine to $1,000 will be a positive financial boon, while also, making the city appear more pristine. As this commanding new law probably has some far-reaching ramifications not anticipated; city leaders should consider the following, for clamping down on rubbish even harder:

First, the city should appoint a scrappy trash czar. For the probationary period, the czar’s salary could be contingent on the level of fines, staff hands out. City elders can waive the probationary period off early, when they see what a profitable gain, this new office has become.

For keeping politicians in line; whose signs trash roadsides, long after the elections; the agency should require a down payment, refundable after the czar certifies that the office-runners have done their best to retrieve outstanding signs. For election winners, the czar’s staff should seize these signs from the gutter as important evidence and forensically examine them for the amount of rosy promises broken to constituents, then levy high fines against the value of each broken pledge.

Another ideal way to improve the streets would be to equip garbage trucks with an array of video cams, fed directly into City Hall. When the recorders detect trash blowing from overfilled cans, it can automatically add thousand dollar fines to homeowners next bills. For trash blowing off the collecting trucks themselves, city engineers could develop an automated self-fining system.

To cut off the most poisonous trash, afflicting the city: The Litter-Czar’s office should engage in a partnership with Homeland Security; setting up ports of entry to Idaho Falls. Routine Geiger counter inspections at city entrances, to monitor nuclear lab workers transporting radiation into town, could be the most productive way to perk up coffers, meanwhile, protecting the city from this insidious menace.

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